The Dallas Mavericks fell to the Los Angeles Clippers in the game one of their first round series Monday night, 118-110. Kawhi Leonard put in 29 with Paul George including 27 in success. Luka Doncic led the Mavericks in defeat with 42 points, a record for a playoff launching.
Its difficult to picture a worse start to the NBA Playoffs for the Dallas Mavericks than what they endured in the opening minutes. After spotting Los Angeles a 16 point lead something weird happened: the Mavericks started to make shots. Luka Doncic returned to the game and Dallas kept coming, including 2 huge 3s from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Hot shooting and remarkably outstanding defense from the Mavericks increased the four point lead up to a 16 point lead by the 7:30 mark, capping off a 48-18 run. The Clippers responded with a 9-0 run of their own, boosted by back-to-back belongings where Porzingis got hammered at the rim resulting in a no-call followed by Porzingis blocking Paul George at the rim and getting required a nasty.
The Clippers finally tied the video game at 57 with 2:49 remaining. Dallas reacted and closed the half well, drawing 3rd fouls on both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George as the Mavericks kept assaulting the rim and kicking out for threes. The Mavericks put in 12 threes, the most in a half in Dallas playoffs history, and took a 69-66 lead into the half.
Both groups began insanely cold in the 3rd, with neither scoring up until a Luka Doncic brief jumper 2 and a half minutes in. The referees decided to change the course of the video game: following a Doncic turnover, Marcus Morris engaged in some additional contact which Doncic took offense to. The Mavericks scored simply 13 points in the frame and got in the tracking the Clippers by 5, 87-82.
The Dallas Mavericks fell to the Los Angeles Clippers in the video game one of their very first round series Monday night, 118-110. Luka Doncic led the Mavericks in defeat with 42 points, a record for a playoff launching.
Dallas reacted and closed the half well, drawing 3rd fouls on both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George as the Mavericks kept kicking and attacking the rim out for threes. The Mavericks put in 12 threes, the most in a half in Dallas playoffs history, and took a 69-66 lead into the half.
The Mavericks could not capitalize enough on miscues from the Clippers, and eventually LAs depth and talent was too much for Dallas late.
The bench showed up big to start the 4th, equaling the Clippers and even tying the video game at 89 up while Doncic got a few minutes of rest. The Mavericks battled and hung within a couple of points however an already thin bench looked gassed half way through the frame. Luka Doncic kept pushing attacking the rim and making difficult plays. The Mavericks might not capitalize enough on miscues from the Clippers, and ultimately LAs depth and skill was too much for Dallas late. The Mavericks made the Clippers really uncomfortable, however fell 118-110.
Now, some thoughts:
The full Luka Doncic experience
Doncic looked like a train wreck early however regained his senses and played a strong game. Passes to the roll guy were non-existent for Doncic tonight, and by the third quarter he seemed to stop looking. The other Mavericks, meanwhile (as typical), need to strike a couple of more open appearances.
A lot of turnovers
The Mavericks had 13 turnovers in the very first half, including four in the first 3 minutes of regulation. To have any chance in this series, the Mavericks have to clean up around the edges.
Dorian Finney-Smith and Maxi Kleber have to contribute more
Things spoiled for Kleber from the beginning, when he turned the ball over to Patrick Beverley following the tip. From there things went primarily downhill, with some offensive miscues, bad defense at times, out of position on rebounding and rough shooting with his limited touches. Dorian Finney-Smith had a mainly rough day on offense also, missing 4 of his five 3 point efforts missed, all of which were wide open.
Much is asked of these two undrafted gamers, each of whom has actually made his keep at the NBA level. They are each extremely great gamers, however if Dallas desires to complete with the Clippers, Finney-Smith and Kleber will have to find more to give.
Heres the postgame podcast, Mavs Moneyball After Dark. If you cant see the embed listed below “More from Mavs Moneyball”, click here. And if you havent yet, subscribe by searching “Mavs Moneyball podcast” into your preferred podcast app.